My rasta friends

I’m sick and tired of people begging me to write loosely about Rastafarians, so here it is. Rastas rarely ply the same route twice, save for when they’ve got no other option at hand. When a rasta goes to the neighborhood boutique for Ibinyomoro or cucumber, he will return to his home using a different route.

I’m sick and tired of people begging me to write loosely about Rastafarians, so here it is.

Rastas rarely ply the same route twice, save for when they’ve got no other option at hand. When a rasta goes to the neighborhood boutique for Ibinyomoro or cucumber, he will return to his home using a different route.

 

Rastas spell and pronounce most words differently from how other people do it. So while the rest of us say “boy”, rastas add a twang to it; “bwoy”. A girl to them is a “gyal”, and something is some ting. Rastas say “dis” instead of “this”, and “dat” instead of “that”. Dat bwoy. Dat gyal.

 

Recently, a rasta friend shocked me when he pronounced “Imbuto Foundation” differently from the way we all know it; “Imbuto Fondieshan”.

 

These people love dreadlocks. So much so that they sometimes acquire names that extol that particular hairstyle; names like Natty Dread. Natty Dread is actually Natty Dreadlocks. Another name for dreadlocks is simply locks. Some rastas refer to their dreads as roots.

Rastas love their locks to the death, and attempting to cut them off would be like attempting to castrate a man.

This is not to say that rastas own all dreadlocks in the world. In other words, not everyone with dreaded hair professes allegiance to rasta livity, which is the way that rastas refer to their way of life.

I have talked to a few rastas, both those with and without locks, and their general consensus seemed to be that you don’t really need a particular style of hair to be identified with the community. That it is a ‘divine conception of the heart”. A world-famous reggae band, Morgan Heritage has actually done a song to that effect, so who are we to argue?

Rastas generally don’t dance, but skank. What is to skank, or skanking? It is to lazily bounce from one feet to the other, like a fully-blown balloon dancing on the ever-gentle waves of Lake Kivu.

This skanking is always best done to the rhythmic and repetitive one-drop reggae beat that was so popularized by one of the leading Jamaican Rastafarian and reggae icons, Robert Nesta Marley, aka Bob Marley.

Finally, most rastas like to pepper their talk with words like “babylon”, “ghetto”, “meditation”, and Intare. Intare is a lion.

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